“I have made clear my serious concern about the current stalemate in the Middle East Peace Process. Today the UK voted with others, including France and Germany, to reinforce this and our longstanding view that settlements, including in East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law, an obstacle to peace and constitute a threat to a two-state solution.
We must not be diverted by events in the wider region from working towards a just and lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We believe that Israel’s security and the realisation of the Palestinians’ right to statehood are not opposing goals. On the contrary they are intimately intertwined objectives.
I call on both parties to return as soon as possible to direct negotiations towards a two-state solution, on the basis of clear parameters. Our formal Explanation of Vote today set out what we believe these need to include for negotiations to be successful:
- An agreement on the borders of the two states, based on June 4 1967 lines with equivalent land swaps as may be agreed between the parties.
- Security arrangements that, for Palestinians, respect their sovereignty and show that the occupation is over; and, for Israelis, protect their security, prevent the resurgence of terrorism and deal effectively with new and emerging threats.
- A just, fair and agreed solution to the refugee question.
- Fulfillment of the aspirations of both parties for Jerusalem. A way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of both states.
We therefore look to both parties to return to negotiations as soon as possible on this basis. Our goal remains an agreement on all final status issues and the welcoming of Palestine as a full member by September 2011. We will contribute to achieving this goal in any and every way that we can.
We understand Israel’s deep and justified security concerns. As friends of Israel, we share those concerns, and will strive with Israel to preserve her security and the stability of the region around her. It is precisely because of those concerns that we vote today in favour of this resolution.
We believe a peaceful and safe future for Israel is best secured through a peace with the Palestinians that in turn can lead to peace with the entire region, and indeed will strengthen the stability of the region. We believe that Israel will be better able to face and tackle wider threats if it is at peace with the Palestinians. And so we regret anything which sets back the prospects for peace because we believe it also sets back Israel’s security.”